We reported last month that the first portable entry in the Super Smash Bros. series had managed to sell a million copies over its launch weekend in Japan. Now, following the game's first weekend of sales in other territories, Nintendo has announced that the title has sold more than 2.8 million units worldwide.
With this figure coming even despite Japanese stores struggling to keep up with demand, it certainly looks like the newest iteration of Smash Bros. is proving to be a hit. Critics are also praising the game as a worthy handheld adaptation of the much-loved series — but it remains to be seen whether the dual-platform approach Nintendo has taken will pay off.
The Wii U version of Smash Bros. will offer a slightly different selection of stages as well as some unique modes, but the meat of the game — including the character roster — will stay the same. Nintendo also announced the release date of the home console version of the game today, and are hoping that it will be just as successful as the 3DS iteration.
The question is whether the 3DS game will cannibalize sales of its Wii U sibling. With differences between the two new Super Smash Bros. titles being relatively minor, many players may pick one or the other rather than both — despite the connectivity between the two versions seeming to be an attempt to suggest otherwise.
However, the twin selling points of HD graphics and local multiplayer without the need for multiple devices will likely be all the Wii U edition of the game needs to find its own audience. Much like the hugely successful Mario Kart series, the accessibility of Smash Bros. lends it a broad appeal, but without sacrificing the depth that keeps hardcore fans coming back.
While pleasing sales figures for the 3DS game will be good news for Nintendo, there's perhaps more pressure for the Wii U version to perform. With its central role in the launch of Amiibo products, as well as the fact that the Wii U is still finding its feet sales-wise, there's a lot riding on Smash to be the console's big holiday release.
The Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. should be just as good as the 3DS version is — but could that parity prove to be its undoing? Only time will tell as to whether the home console version will be as much of a 'smash' as its portable counterpart is proving to be.